HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Saint Louis honors 1966-67 triple threat
Forty years ago, the Crusaders of Saint Louis accomplished a series of successes that has yet to be duplicated.
Playing its home games at old Honolulu Stadium, Saint Louis won the Interscholastic League of Honolulu football championship, a feat in itself since the league included powerful public schools from town. Then came an ILH basketball crown in a time when the state tournament was played at the Honolulu International Center, or HIC, now known as Blaisdell Center.
The Crusaders then capped an amazing year by capturing the ILH baseball title, again at Honolulu Stadium.
Since that 1966-67 school year, no school has replicated that string of titles in one year. The Crusaders are celebrating those feats of yesteryear in homecoming festivities this week. A rally at the school today will give Saint Louis an opportunity to honor those former student-athletes.
"That was quite an accomplishment," athletic director Todd Los Baños said. "Farrington, McKinley and Kaimuki were very competitive at the time."
Los Baños' cousin, Buddy, was the starting quarterback for the football team. The championship players are all 57, 58 years old now.
"There's a lot of them around," the AD said. "It's tough to win a triple crown now, too. What they did has stood the test of time."
The school had hoped to honor the triple-crown players at tomorrow's game with Punahou at Aloha Stadium, but time constraints made it impossible. Still, the Crusaders of old are appreciative.
"It's nice to have been recognized," said Buddy Los Baños, who is now a physical therapist in Kahuku. "We were expected to win in basketball, but not in football and baseball. The newspaper picked us seventh out of the 10 teams in the ILH."
Ron Marciel, who now coaches at Honokaa, was the guru of the Crusader gridiron program. Francis Funai guided the baseball team.
"We had talent, but that was his first year back, and Punahou was the favorite," said Buddy Los Baños.
Saint Louis went on to win the football and basketball crowns the following year, but did not win in baseball, and there hasn't been another triple threat since.
"Punahou is the one that comes the closest," Los Baños said, noting that parity makes a significant difference. "In our years, we had scholarships given to us, which is why you have two leagues (on Oahu) now. We were required to play two sports."